It’s a common misconception that people with disability won’t be able to play sport or be part of a team. Noosa Australian Football Club are confronting this stereotype one football match at a time – and EPIC is proud to be cheering them on with a community grant.
We were impressed to learn of the club’s Inclusion Program which has been running since 2015 to create more opportunities for people with disability to be involved in the sport and to be part of a team.
Held over a 12-week period, the club runs sessions for people with disability to attend and learn the skills of AFL. Mitch Woods, the General Manager of the club, says that they have seen some amazing improvements.
“Our program welcomes all ages and abilities, and we have found that attendees find great improvements in self-esteem, confidence, and general motor skills,” says Mitch.
For the last two years, Noosa Tigers AFC have been awarded the prestigious Graydon Poulson Award for their incredible work in establishing inclusive programs for people with disability. The award was first introduced in 2007 in recognition of Nambour and Hinterland AFL player, Graydon Poulson.
Mitch explains that as a person with autism and an intellectual disability, Graydon’s journey has been tougher than most, but when he runs out onto the football field, he’s part of the team.
“His story has been inspiring players and clubs all over Queensland to kick inclusivity goals, and Noosa AFL are most certainly leading this charge by example,” says Mitch.
“The Noosa Tigers AFC is an inclusive club that prides itself on success and empowering members both on and off the field.”
“We strive to be the most professional, innovative, and respected local football club in Australia.”
EPIC’s Community Grants are focussed on supporting other community groups who are levelling the playing field for people with disability, and creating communities which value and welcome people with disability.
Check out the Noosa Australian Football Club website for more information on the program, and the EPIC Assist website to apply for a community grant.